Commercial sex workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have expressed concerns about low patronage in their business as a result of the scarcity of Naira notes.
According to some of them who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, the currency scarcity has posed a serious threat to their livelihood.
Miss Alexandra Tricia (pseudonym), a commercial sex worker, explained that her customers had reduced drastically due to the current “no cash syndrome.”
- She said, “The business is no longer booming like before because there is no cash anywhere.” Tricia lamented that even when some of her clients claim to have made transfers, she sometimes doesn’t receive the alert, leaving her stranded.
Miss Ifedi Ote (pseudonym), another sex worker and university dropout, disclosed that many of her colleagues in the business had left temporarily due to the current cash crunch. She said the development had caused some customers who had little cash to pay “next to nothing” for their services.
Ote further explained that clients who have cash would bargain and price their services as low as N1,500 to N3,000.
- “When you refuse, they will tell you that the amount is the only cash they have on them, and because I need cash, I will be forced to accept the price,” she added.
Tracy Ehigbere, another commercial sex worker, appealed to the authorities to urgently address the issues around the currency swap policy.
- She said, “We are suffering because people no longer come to us. We used to make money, but it’s no longer the same. We need money to take care of ourselves and families, but the scarcity of money is killing us.”
The scarcity of Naira notes is a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s currency swap policy. Many brothels and mammy markets that are usually busy are now deserted, as customers struggle to get cash for their transactions. Some Point of Sale (PoS) agents where the sex workers usually direct their clients for transactions have also run out of cash.
In reaction to the situation, some sex workers have turned to digital transactions as an alternative.
- One sex worker said, “We are trying to embrace the use of bank transfer, but not all customers want to transfer money. Many of them still prefer to pay with cash.”
As the cash scarcity continues to affect various sectors, the Nigerian government is expected to take measures to address the issue and alleviate the suffering of those affected.
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